HOW much do you know about the life and work of Scotland's national poet?

Here are 10 facts you need to know about Robert Burns.

Falling on the poets birthday - January 25 - Burns Night is the day we celebrate the genius works of Scotland's bard.

But what do you know about the man behind the words?

Whether you know his work inside out or you're grateful for a wee dram of whisky to slur your way through Auld Lang Syne, we've got you covered. 

READ MORE: Burns Night: I tried Aldi's vegetarian haggis and loved it

We have put together ten facts about the beloved Alloway writer that you can whip out before or after your haggis, neeps and tatties. 

The Herald: Haggis, neeps and tatties. Credit:PAHaggis, neeps and tatties. Credit:PA

10 facts about Robert Burns for Burns Night

  • 1. Robert Burns wrote his name originally as “Burnes” rather than Burns
  • 2. Rabbie - as we sometimes refer to the poet - produced his first poem at only 15 years old
  • 3. There are over 60 statues dedicated to the writer which is the third most monuments of a non-religious figure after Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus
  • 4. Burns had planned on moving to Jamaica but found success with his collection: Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (or the Kilmarnock collection) and decided to move to Edinburgh instead
  • 5. The poet fathered a staggering 12 children - nine to his wife Jean Armour whom he married in 1788
  • 6. While Burns was said to have written 100 songs,  fifty of them appear to be credited incorrectly - including his famous tune Auld Lang Syne since the poet had a habit of reworking existing works
  • 7. Burns died on July 21, 1796, aged just 37 with his funeral being held on July 25 which was the same day that his last son, Maxwell, was born

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  • 8. The bard is buried in the Burns Mausoleum in St Muchael's Churchyard, Dumfries which you can still visit
  • 9. Robert Burns' Birthplace Museum in Alloway is now a National Trust for Scotland property that houses "more than 5,000 Burns artefacts including his handwritten manuscripts"
  • 10. The poet and songwriter has inspired generations of other creative minds including the title of John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel 'Of Mice and Men' from his poem 'To a Mouse'. Burns's poem Comin’ Thro’ the Rye also inspired J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel title 'The Catcher in the Rye'